afaqs! news bureau

Beverage lobby considers WHO’s non-sugar sweetener guidelines as “not scientifically rigorous”: Report

The U.N. health body said non-sugar sweeteners don’t help with weight loss and increase the risk of certain diseases.

A lobby of beverage giants including PepsiCo, Red Bull, Dabur, and Tetra Pack, believe the recent World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines on non-sugar sweeteners (NSS) are "not scientifically rigorous”, as per an Economic Times report.

The UN health body, on 15 May, in its guidelines on NSS said they do not help with weight control in the long term.

The review of NSS, as per the report, also suggested that there may be potential undesirable effects from long-term use of NSS, such as an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and mortality in adults.

The report quoted an unnamed senior executive of the Indian Beverage Association, “It is a disservice to public health to not recognise the role of low or no-calorie sweeteners in reducing sugar intake amid a global obesity crisis. IBA has been engaging with concerned authorities in the country to seek their alignment for a favourable policy regime in this regard.”

The IBA executive said the industry body “would join others, including relevant government agencies who have responded to the public consultation on the draft guidelines, expressing their concerns about the conclusions and rationale used by WHO.”

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